The Amity School budget referendum will take place Wednesday, May 8 in Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge.
The polls will open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. As previously reported, the Amity Board of Education and the Amity Finance Committee unanimously approved the request to increase expenditures for the 2013-2014 academic year by 1.98%.
On Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 5:30 p.m., the Amity Board of Education will hold a District Meeting on its proposed budget in the Presentation Room at the District Offices. Amity Supt. Dr. John Brady will give a presentation explaining the increases and decreases to the budget. No vote will be taken at this meeting.
You may view the budget proposal on the district website at amityregion5.org.
Supt. Brady published the following on the site explaining his budget proposal:
Factors causing the budget to increase include contractual salary agreements, special education services, increased security and replacement of outdated technology and reduction of other revenues, most notably funds the district has been receiving from the State of Connecticut for the 1990’s construction project. To balance these increases, 3.2 teaching positions will be eliminated, and bonds have been rewritten to save interest costs.
The 2013-2014 budget is consistent with the key Amity district goal of providing excellent educational programs in a fiscally prudent manner. It is important for the member towns to realize that the Board has been meeting this goal as evidenced by the fact that Amity was rated in 2012 as the #5 district out of 165 in the state with Amity Regional High School rating #4 of 191 high schools.
The budget development process began in August. The superintendent worked with his staff over a seven-month period. The Amity Finance Committee and Board of Education then worked on the budget during the months of January, February, March and April.
The total budget request of $44,478,455 is an increase of $865,293, or 1.98 percent above the current $43,613,162 budget. The increase in the budget is due primarily to an increase of $589,983 in salaries and $127,362 in medical and dental insurance. All other accounts are increased by a total of $147,948. The Board of Education has developed its budget with consideration of both current economic conditions and the District’s “Missions-Goals-Objectives.”
Salaries are based on 313.30 full-time equivalent positions. Contractual salary increases total $721,436. The budget adds 1.6 full-time equivalent positions, including mandated special education staff and one-half security guard for the high school for $71,476. The budget eliminates 3.2 teaching positions at a savings of $234,323. Overall, salaries will increase by $589,983.
Medical, dental and prescription drug expenditures will be higher by $127,362. The District has a self-funded insurance program. Medical inflation is the primary reason for the higher costs.
Past budgets have postponed the purchase of technology equipment. The proposed budget includes an increase of $229,358 for replacement computers and laptops, and other technology equipment.
Improvements to building and sites will increase by $97,006, which includes sidewalk repairs; asphalt sealing and crack repairs of parking lot; and re-sodding crown of football field.
The new Common Core State Standards and teacher and administrator evaluations will require the District to spend funds. Federal and state unfunded or underfunded mandates will impact the budget by $250,400.
Debt service is principal and interest payments on the approved construction projects at the high school and middle schools. Based on the financial health of Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge, and the financial management in Amity, Moody’s Investors Service kept the District’s bond rating at Aa2. This had a favorable impact on the District’s last three bond issues. The savings on the interest costs are reflected in the budget. Debt Service will decrease by $451,179.
Member Town Allocations
Revenues are derived from taxation, State grants and other revenues. The primary source comes from the taxpayers. The budget allocations are as follows:
Bethany $ 8,591,647 $ 8,670,180
Orange $20,687,700 $21,602,772
Woodbridge $12,385,204 $12,987,101
Other Sources $ 1,948,611 $ 1,218,402
Total $43,613,162 $44,478,455
Expenditures by Category
Benefits $ 5,256,101
Purchased Services $ 6,974,367
Debt Service $ 4,913,679
Supplies $ 3,096,685
Equipment $ 324,479
Building & Site Improvements $ 97,006
Contingency $ 150,000
Dues & Fees $ 150,100
Total Budget $44,478,455
Increase of 1.98%
Percentage of budget (allocations) paid by each town is based on Average Daily Membership.
Students % Allocation
Bethany 474 20.042%
Orange 1,181 49.937%
Woodbridge 710 30.021%
Totals 2,365 100.000%
Key School District Goals
The proposed budget:
• Provides services consistent with the District’s “Missions-Goals-Objectives” while attempting to minimize the monetary impact on Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge;
• Meets contractual obligations including debt service and mandated special education services; and
• Meets unfunded or underfunded Federal and State mandates.
District Educational Scorecard
• District rated #5 in State out of 165 districts;
• High school rated #4 in State out of 191 high schools;
• Advance Placement results #5 in State and #2 in District Reference Group. Participation in testing increased by 22 percent;
• Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMT) for grades 7 and 8 were higher in Reading, Writing and Mathematics;
• Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) student scores for grade 10 in Mathematics were #6 and #3 in Reading and #6 in Writing and #4 in Science in the District Reference Group;
• 95% of the class of 2012 continued to higher education. Students were offered 586 acceptances to the Most Selective or Highly Competitive colleges; and
• Many high awards in Fine and Performing Arts and Athletics.